Disney's buyout of 20th Century Fox could be completed earlier than expected, according to Variety.
Fox executive Peter Rice fielded questions about the buyout at a Fox town hall style event, where the Hollywood trade reports he said the deal would be "logistically ready" to close on January 1, 2019.
Rice also reportedly answered questions for employees regarding the potential nature of their jobs under the Disney umbrella.
The buyout was announced in late 2017, and approved by the SEC earlier this year. At the time of its approval, it was estimated that the deal would take 18 months to close, which would have been mid-2019.
If the deal does close on or around Jan. 1, this would give Marvel Studios the option to plant any seeds about the Fantastic Four or X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe it chooses when Avengers 4 opens in May.